By on April 8, 2014

12 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow that it’s possible to buy electric cars that actually do what cars are supposed to do, we mustn’t forget the very lengthy era— say 1970 to just a few years ago— during which all manner of optimistic-yet-doomed companies converted various econoboxes into lead-acid-battery-based EVs. Every once in a while, I’ll spot the remains of such an EV at a junkyard; we saw a junked EVolve Electrics 1995 Geo Metro EV conversion last year, and now a different Denver yard has given us this ’88 Sprint “Electric Sport.”
06 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Sprint aka Cultus wasn’t a bad choice for an electric vehicle, being lightweight and cheap.
01 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinElectric motors are worth money, either as working motors or as sources of valuable scrap copper, so the one in this car is long gone.
18 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe remnants of the battery tray may be seen in the rear cargo area.
17 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeone grabbed the no-doubt-modified instrument cluster, too.
07 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBonus points to anyone who can track down the company that built the Electric Sport Sprint!

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14 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Electric Sport...”


  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the range of this car was? And now long it took to recharge?

    I’m interested in comparing this “old” technology to some recent offerings.

    I seem to remember a comparison of the newer electric cars with the original stuff done early in the 20th century… which showed not much of a real improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      Garak

      It’s pretty impossible to guess the exact range, as the car was probably a one-off conversion running on regular lead-acid car batteries, and nobody knows how many of them were crammed in the back. I’d guess about a 50 mile range and a 50 mph top speed based on my own experiences.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Well, Solectria converted Geo Metros, did they also make the Sprints before the Metro existed?

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    My guess is a company called “cloud” did the conversion.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Hey!

    Looks like we’ve stumbled across Long Duk Dong’s daily driver.

    Betcha there’s empty beer cans still underneath the seats.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    I wonder why this car is sitting in the Ford section???

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …Bonus points to anyone who can track down the company that built the Electric Sport Sprint!…

    I doubt any company did. If you look at the word, “Electric,” it appears to be applied with simple Home Depot vinyl lettering you would put on a mailbox. Nice vinyl lettering, but not an OEM or customized application.

    I’m guessing that was home built – the interesting bits sold off and the rest sent to the graveyard.

  • avatar
    wmba

    We had a couple of GM electric vans for the substation technicians at our electric utility back in the late ’80s. Completely useless would be overpraising them. They disappeared without a trace or a publicity word shortly thereafter.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Well you got me Murilee, you found one that I have never heard of, read about or seen in the flesh or otherwise. The Sprint was a “throw-away Suzuki” as I recall (redundant term?); interesting choice and era for that matter, to create an EV.

  • avatar
    Battles

    Was this another electric conversion that kept the original transmission?

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I drive too far on a daily basis to trust E – Cars but , when first I came to Sunny So. Cal. there were , all over the older Suburbs , these interesting three wheeled all steel electric vehicles old folks drove on the streets to shop , the bingo parlour and so on ~ they were registered with regular license plates but had to wipers , only one headlight and tail / brake light . steered by a tiller directly connected to the front wheel’s suspension or fork .

    Dead silent , they climbed the hills on Pasadena effortlessly and silently if slowly .

    I found one resting quietly in Altadena a few years ago and briefly considered buying it to save it from the crusher .

    I imagine there’s *some* need/call/utility to these things as I see the Ford open E – Cars about to – day , still dead slow and zero crash protection , I looked them up on the Ca. DMV pages , they say not allowed on the Boulevard but no one seems to care about that .

    Too bad this one wasn’t saved , I know a fair number of old timers like me who have converted simple & cheap cars like this Sprint to electric by simply junking the engine and directly connecting a War Surplus electric motor then working up a controller for the brace of batteries…….

    Seems odd but whatever floats yer boat I think .

    OOPS ! proofreading it looks like I meant I’ve converted a car , no I’m a Gasoholic and plan to die thata way thankyouverymuch .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    kinsha

    Looks like your long gone instrument cluster near the battery tray.


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